Vienna, the sophisticated city located on the banks of the Danube leaves visitors wanting nothing. It gave the world the romantic waltz, the classic music of genial composers, and even the snow globe, Not to mention the wealth of delicious cream cakes that exist for nothing more than to haunt passing dieters. The former imperial capital has impressive palaces, bohemian cafes, and romantic cobbled streets. The following Vienna travel tips will help first-time visitors navigate the charming capital with ease. And, without a doubt, leave you longing for a return visit.
Situated in the heart of Europe, Vienna hosts the offices of high-ranked global organizations such as The United Nations, The International Atomic Energy Agency, The International Narcotics Control Board, and many others. In spite of this, there is no stiff white-collar atmosphere, but instead, a rather green one.
Fact: The 2.26 million Viennese live in a city that has 28.4% of its surface covered in parks and gardens!
Visa Requirements and Entry to Austria
Austria has been a member of the European Union since 1995 and part of the Schengen Space since 1997. Thus, nationals of all the other EU countries do not need a visa to enter Austrian territory. The same law is applicable to citizens belonging to the USA, the UK, Canada, or Australia.
The European Union laws allow the citizens of the member states to travel within the Union only with their National Identity Card. Visitors from other parts of the world must have an undamaged passport, valid for 6 months at the minimum.
Whether on business or for pleasure, it is possible to stay in Austria for 90 days without a stay permit. However, getting employment during this period of time is illegal. This user-friendly website provides updated and useful information on admission and residence in Austria.
Best Time of the Year for A Viennese Adventure
Vienna has something to offer each season. Thus, the best time to visit is basically equivalent to all year round. If you are not discouraged by low temperatures and snow, then you should plan your trip for the beginning of the year. You will manage to save a lot by visiting after the New Year since most hotels offer accommodation at promotional prices.
Lots of tourists wander the Viennese streets in spring and early summer. Although windy at times, the weather is ideal for city tours, cycling, river cruises, and picnics. The months of July and August bring high temperatures, but low hotel prices. Moviegoers should book a ticket for October because of the Viennale Film Festival. This annual event brings together heavy names from the industry and more than 80,000 attendants from around the world.
And, of course, people always love Vienna in December. Its Christmas Fairs have served as a source of inspiration for numerous others across Europe.
Vienna Travel Tips:
– The Christmas Fair in Maria-Theresien-Platz is famous for its arts and crafts stalls.
– The Alten Christmas Village is preferred by younger tourists.
Accommodation Facilities in Vienna
Hotels, guest houses, hostels, and rooms to rent can be found all over the city. Five-star accommodations pamper guests with beauty treatments, gourmet cuisine, and elegant furniture.
Explorers and adventurers will like the versatility of Viennese hostels. Their cool gardens and music areas, where guests perform live, are the main ingredients of a highly bohemian atmosphere.
People traveling by car will likely prefer to book a room in the neighboring areas. The towns of Baden and Traiskirchen are very close (15-20 kilometers) and can be easily reached via highway. Rooms are cheaper in price and Baden is renowned for its thermal hot springs.
Vienna Travel Tips:
– There is little difference in price when it comes to three and four-star hotels
– Search for hotels which have their own free car park if you’re renting a car
– When renting an apartment on sites like Airbnb, you typically have to pay a fee for cleaning services
Transport and Travelling Around Vienna
Vienna has only one international airport, Flughafen Wien, located in the southern part of the city. Once out of the airport, tourists have several options for getting into the city.
- The CAT (City Airport Train) which takes only 16 minutes to arrive in downtown Vienna
- S-Bahn subway trains which cover the same distance in 20 minutes
- Taxi rides
- Pre-arranged airport transfers
Public means of transport are the best alternative for tourists. Trams, buses, and subway trains are organized in a very efficient network that covers the whole city.
Depending on your sightseeing plan, you can buy:
- Single tickets
- 24-hour tickets
- 48-hour tickets
- 72-hour tickets
- Weekly tickets
Transport tickets are available online or they can be purchased from automatic vending machines or from Tabak Traffic Stores.
The Vienna City Card is available in the Red or White alternative. Owners of Red Cards get free rides on Wiener Linien and various types of discounts while those who have White Cards receive an extra hop-on/hop-off ticket and a guided city tour.
Visitors also have the possibility to rent a car. However, even in a city as meticulous as Vienna, rush hours are rush hours, parking spaces are very expensive, and fines are astronomical.
Vienna Travel Tips:
– Bookmark this website for reference and to find out more about traveling around the Austrian capital.
Guten Appetit in Vienna
Culinary delicacies are dangerous in Vienna! Taste them once, and like in a Grimm’s fairy tale, you will be forever tied to the capital of the Habsburg Emperors.
If you want to be put under a spell, you should:
- Eat a huge wiener schnitzel at Figlmuller Restaurant
- Take time to indulge in “Sacher”, a traditional Austrian cake with chocolate and peach cream
- Buy a “cheese wurst” from a street stall in Albertinaplatz
- Learn how to make an “apfelstrudel”
- Enter one of the pink-decorated “Aida” confectioneries
- Go to the Coffeeshop Company for a delicious breakfast
- Not skip lunch in a Centimeter Pub
- Have dinner at GreichenBeisel Inn, the oldest restaurant in Vienna
- Enjoy a cup of tea on the banks of the Danube
Remember, you can’t say you’ve vacationed in Vienna unless you’ve feasted on an ungodly amount of food each day!
Vienna Travel Tips:
– Find more enchanted places on Like A Local.
Sights, Activities, and Entertainment in Vienna
The iconic sights are as breathtaking in real life as they are in professionally taken pictures. Thus, first-time visitors to Vienna should not miss The Schonbrunn Palace, The Hofburg Imperial Palace, Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, the Prater Fun Fair, the Old City Center, and the Museums Quartier.
Check out Our List of Vienna’s Top Museums for a deeper look at Vienna’s art and culture!
If you want to have more stories to tell from Vienna, then you should:
- Rent a bike, establish your own route and get to know the city on your own.
- Spend a few relaxing hours in Brunnenmarkt or in Flohmarkt.
- Watch a movie for free in Rathausplatz (from June to late September).
- Go on a shopping spree in Vienna’s vintage stores.
- Visit the Music Museum and the Firefighters’ Museum.
- Not miss the Vienna Aquarium.
- Have a glass (or more) of local wine.
- Admire colorful butterflies at “Schmetterlinghaus”.
- Take a look at Karls Garten and learn about urban agriculture.
- Go to Club U and hope for a party animated by a talented DJ.
Vienna Travel Tips:
– There are so many sites in Vienna that it is impossible to see them all during one stay. Visit this website to select the ones that appeal to you the most.
Additional Vienna Travel Tips
Austria is a leading EU power, thus the national currency here is the EURO. Credit cards are accepted everywhere, but it is always good to have some cash around.
Most stores open around 9 am or 10 am and close at about 6:30 pm. Some stores are open on Saturdays as well. Restaurants usually close their doors at 10 pm. Museums and art galleries open between 10 am and 5 pm. Banks are open to the public until 3 pm.
There are numerous clubs and venues, but nightlife is not as wild as in other European capitals.
Vienna is a very tolerant and open-minded city. For example, there are traffic lights with 2 red figures and 2 green figures which are either male or female.
Locals are nice and polite but most of them seem to be in a constant rush to or from somewhere. Let’s not forget that they work and live there, they cannot afford to live like carefree tourists 24/7.
There is so much to see and do in beautiful Vienna, Austria that it can be overwhelming at times. Hopefully, these simple Vienna travel tips will help out on future journeys to the city.
If you’ve been to Vienna please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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